FIRE Litigation Coordinator Catherine Sevcenko takes to The Huffington Post today to explain why Iowa State University students Paul Gerlich and Erin Furleigh are standing up for speech at their institution by filing a First Amendment lawsuit.
As Torch readers will remember from this month’s press conference launching our Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, Paul and Erin are the leaders of Iowa State’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). They came to FIRE for help after the university first revoked approval for the group’s T-shirt, then [...] » Read More
Boston’s WGBH News has just announced the “winners” of its 2014 Muzzle Awards, given to those who have particularly impeded freedom of speech over the past year. Formerly published in the Boston Phoenix, WGBH has adopted the awards and is continuing the tradition of “singl[ing] out the dramatic and the petty, the epic and the absurd.”
FIRE co-founder Harvey Silverglate and research assistants Daniel Schneider and Samantha Miller selected the recipients of the Campus Muzzle Awards. Introducing the winners, Harvey warns readers of the dangerous trend of censorship on America’s college and university campuses:
Campus censorship is particularly dangerous since [...] » Read More
Category: The Torch
Schools: Asnuntuck Community College
Cases: Nationwide: Colleges Across the Country Disinvite Commencement Speakers Asnuntuck Community College: Student Recording Conversation with Governor Suspended, Deprived of Fair Hearing
Last week, FIRE announced the launch of our new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project at a press conference where we revealed four federal lawsuits targeting campus speech codes. Through this new project, FIRE will continue to coordinate similar lawsuits until speech codes are eliminated from public college campuses.
FIRE is pleased that so many media outlets have covered the project’s launch. But in addition to the news coverage reporting on the project, I am thrilled that the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently ran an editorial urging my [...] » Read More
It’s hard to believe that there’s just one month left in this year’s FIRE Summer Internship Program! Our 2014 interns have been diligently working alongside FIRE staff to defend civil liberties for fellow students on campuses across the country. Soon, they will return to their campuses with the lessons they learned here at FIRE, fight to reform their universities’ speech codes, and stand up to any threats to free speech they may face.
Category: The Torch
A week ago today, FIRE launched its Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, coordinating lawsuits against Chicago State University, Ohio University, Citrus College (Calif.), and Iowa State University. At a press conference in our nation’s capital, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff, attorney Robert Corn-Revere, and several student-plaintiffs explained why litigation is necessary to fight back against censorship on campus. If you haven’t watched the press conference yet, I urge you to do so.
FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for July 2014: Armstrong State University, a public university in the University System of Georgia.
Armstrong’s list of student conduct offenses (PDF) includes, among other things:
Sexual harassment (i.e., unwelcome sexual advances or conduct, creation of a hostile environment as perceived by the complainant, or the demand for sexual favors in return for some benefit.)
This prohibition is so broad that a wide range of constitutionally protected speech—including controversial speech on political or social issues—may be punished by the university as sexual harassment.
One of the critical elements of sexual harassment in the educational [...] » Read More
BOISE, Idaho, July 7, 2014—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has intervened at Boise State University after the college charged a student group hundreds of dollars in unconstitutional security fees for hosting a speech by a gun rights activist. Boise State forced the campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) to pay the fees or else face the last-minute cancellation of an event featuring Dick Heller, the named plaintiff in a well-known 2008 Supreme Court case regarding the possession of firearms.
“You could hardly ask for a clearer violation of a student group’s First Amendment rights,” said Peter Bonilla, [...] » Read More
Reddit’s /r/IAmA community boasts opportunities to ask questions of some of the most famous and interesting people on the planet—or in orbit. Here’s how it works: A poster introduces himself, “I am a …” and solicits questions: “Ask me anything.”
Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time, FIRE will post in the subreddit and welcome our readers to ask us anything! I’ll be ready to answer questions about our Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, civil liberties on campus more generally, or whatever other topics Redditors are interested in.
To the Reddit newbies: Registering a [...] » Read More
We are just three weeks away from the annual FIRE Student Network Conference at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.
Bryn Mawr means “big hill” in Welsh, and students who care about free speech face a big uphill battle. That’s why it is vital that passionate and dedicated students work with each other, FIRE’s expert staff, and our roster of guest speakers to gain the knowledge necessary to fight that battle. Together, we can create an atmosphere of freedom on college campuses.
Azhar Majeed, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Education Program, takes Chicago State University (CSU) to task in the Chicago Tribune today. As part of FIRE’s new Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, two CSU professors have filed suit against the university for its unconstitutional speech codes and attempts to shut down CSU Faculty Voice, a blog to which the professors contribute.
As Azhar notes in his column, “Schools that maintain speech codes have consistently lost in court when trying to defend these policies.” Yet CSU and hundreds of other universities maintain policies that clearly infringe [...] » Read More